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Author Topic: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?  (Read 4645 times)

Frank B

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Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« on: November 20, 2014, 03:42:40 PM »
OK, we did it.  We bought a used Arctic Fox 30U today.

First:

We boondock a lot.  I have 6 GC-2's in our current small 5th.  I want to put them in the AF 30U along with the two that it already has.  The only place I find large enough is in the forward storage area, either in the long storage area under the bed accessed from the outside, or under the bed itself.  Neither seems to me to be a good idea for fumes as well as weight on what is already a nose-heavy trailer.

There is a LOT of room under the trailer in the chassis, but putting batteries outboard means that they may freeze as they discharge in 0 F and below temperatures.  Lower temperature tolerance  is why I bought the AF to begin with!

Also, GC-2's need water from time to time.  I have to have access to fill them.

Anybody got any good ideas?



Second:

I can build a large box and hang it on the rear bumper / frame.  However, I would have to duct heat to that box to keep discharging batteries from freezing.  Anyone know how the heat is actually ducted in one of these?  Is there a possibility of extending a duct to a custom built battery box on the back of the unit?  I know how to cut holes in trailers and add furnace duct.

Thanks in advance for any practical help anyone can offer.

Frank.
Linux:  Free, open, elegant.
06 GMC 3500 Duramax crew/long pulling 2010 Arctic Fox 30U with 1700 lb Reese Titan Class 5.
1.2 kw solar

Oscar Mike

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Re: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2014, 03:51:22 PM »
Congratulations!

Frank B

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Re: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2014, 04:35:34 PM »
Oscar:

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Congratulations!

Thanks.  However, what I really need at this point are some practical suggestions on where to stow those batteries.  :)

Got any of those?  :)

Frank.
Linux:  Free, open, elegant.
06 GMC 3500 Duramax crew/long pulling 2010 Arctic Fox 30U with 1700 lb Reese Titan Class 5.
1.2 kw solar

Frank B

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Re: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2014, 05:45:49 PM »
OK, just called Northwood Manufacturing, and they cannot give me blueprints for the trailer for liability reasons.  The fellow on the phone was helpful, but his hands are tied.

He did suggest putting all 6 batteries out on the tongue, but the weight still concerns me.  Those batteries weigh about 62 lbs each.  Two go there anyway, but adding 4 more will add 250 lbs directly to the tongue.

He also suggested that they are unlikely to freeze, and that he has not ever seen that, even in -20 F temperatures.

Here is the chart of when a GC-2 will freeze.

Any comments?

Frank.
Linux:  Free, open, elegant.
06 GMC 3500 Duramax crew/long pulling 2010 Arctic Fox 30U with 1700 lb Reese Titan Class 5.
1.2 kw solar

Oscar Mike

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Re: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2014, 05:54:25 PM »
Oscar:

Thanks.  However, what I really need at this point are some practical suggestions on where to stow those batteries.  :)

Got any of those?  :)

Frank.

I gave you the best I had on this issue...  :o ...a hearty congratulations

Gizmo

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Re: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2014, 07:51:08 PM »
Frank, maybe this link will help with some ideas http://www.afnash.com/showthread.php?13353-Solar-installation-25Y 
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
2017 Eagle Cap 1165 Truck Camper With Tork Lift Fast Gun Tie Downs & T.L. Wobble Stoppers
2015 Ram Big Horn 3500 CC Cummins TD Dually 3:73 Gears & AISIN Tranny
Gone But not forgotten:
2014 Northwoods Snow River 246RKS &
2013 Aliner Expedition

kdbgoat

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Re: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2014, 06:31:48 AM »
On the filling with water, I believe Trojan makes a remote watering system for their batteries. As far as ducting heat to a box on the back, I would think the atmosphere from the box has the potential to come back to the heater through the duct.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant

2012 Redwood 36RL
2016 Leprechaun 319DS

Frank B

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Re: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2014, 09:42:10 AM »
Gizmo:

Thanks for the link!  Didn't know they had such a group.

Frank.
Linux:  Free, open, elegant.
06 GMC 3500 Duramax crew/long pulling 2010 Arctic Fox 30U with 1700 lb Reese Titan Class 5.
1.2 kw solar

Frank B

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Re: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2014, 09:48:19 AM »
kdbgoat:

Quote
On the filling with water, I believe Trojan makes a remote watering system for their batteries.

I'll definitely look into that!  That would open up a whole new set of possibilities for storage elsewhere.

Thank you!

Frank.


PS:

Found what you are talking about here.

http://www.trojanbattery.com/products/hydrolink-watering-system/

Here is more in a generic type:

http://www.janwp.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=JANWP&Category_Code=JWPCHART

-FB
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 09:56:03 AM by Frank B »
Linux:  Free, open, elegant.
06 GMC 3500 Duramax crew/long pulling 2010 Arctic Fox 30U with 1700 lb Reese Titan Class 5.
1.2 kw solar

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2014, 09:58:23 AM »
I too would be reluctant to add 375 lbs (6 additional GC2's) to the tongue, but that's probably better than hanging them off the back and thus lifting 300+ lbs off the tongue. The greater the tongue weight, the more stable the towing (reduced sway).

Do you really discharge the batteries deeply in 0 F. weather? Trojan says that a battery at 40% charge is good to about 16 F. You really don't want them to go below about 50% charge in any case, so that is maybe ok to around 10?   Maybe the right strategy is to simply plan on re-charging (generator?) more often in very cold weather. You don't want to get caught with no 12v power in that situation anyway...

You can buy battery filling systems that make it easy to maintain water levels in hard to reach areas. Here are a couple:
https://www.flow-rite.com/battery-watering/pro-fill

If you went with AGM batteries (valve-regulated), you could place the batteries inside the RV. They don't out-gas except as an emergency measure and are rated safe for use in unvented areas. AGMs are available in both 6v GC2 and 12v deep cycles.
http://www.motorhome.com/rv-how-to/pro-fill-rv-battery-watering-systems/
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Frank B

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Re: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2014, 10:10:24 AM »
Gary:

I appreciate your input, as usual.

Quote
Do you really discharge the batteries deeply in 0 F. weather? Trojan says that a battery at 40% charge is good to about 16 F. You really don't want them to go below about 50% charge in any case, so that is maybe ok to around 10?

No, we don't.  I'm looking at 'worst case'.  This is why I posted.  I wanted this kind of input.

Quote
Maybe the right strategy is to simply plan on re-charging (generator?) more often in very cold weather. You don't want to get caught with no 12v power in that situation anyway...

Agreed.

Quote
You can buy battery filling systems that make it easy to maintain water levels in hard to reach areas. Here are a couple:

Yeah, just found that out before your post arrived.  This may solve one of the major issues.

Quote
I too would be reluctant to add 375 lbs (6 additional GC2's) to the tongue, but that's probably better than hanging them off the back and thus lifting 300+ lbs off the tongue.

I think I may have come up with the solution.  The remote watering was the 'missing link' in this plan, which is to build a battery rack under the trailer, just behind the rearmost axle.  The fram on the Arctic Fox is made of very wide channel.  I can weld together a battery rack for all 8 batteries and hang them off that crossmember, with most of the battery in the cavity between the bottom of the frame rail, and the bottom of the trailer floor.  With remote watering, I won't have to pull the batteries down low enough to see the level in them, and then fill them.  If weight is too much for one cross member, I can put 4 on one, and 4 more on the adjacent one.

Most of our RV'ing is done at temperatures above freezing.  95% of the time, freezing of batteries should not be an issue.  For those few times, I can keep them charged with the generator.  The rest of the time, the batteries would be fine slung under the unit.

Anyway, that remote watering system will solve a lot of issues for me.

Thanks, all, for the input.

Frank.
Linux:  Free, open, elegant.
06 GMC 3500 Duramax crew/long pulling 2010 Arctic Fox 30U with 1700 lb Reese Titan Class 5.
1.2 kw solar

RLSharp

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Re: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2014, 10:17:07 AM »
Anyway, that remote watering system will solve a lot of issues for me.

Just be sure to maintain the remote watering system so that no part of it freezes.

R
Richard & Linda
Rochester, NY (summer)
Tucson, AZ (winter)

Ernie n Tara

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Re: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2014, 11:49:53 AM »
I'd caution on two points; mixing batteries of different ages can be a bad thing. You might consider just transferring the ones you have and putting the two from the new trailer back into the new old one.  The other point is that hydrogen (from battery outgassing) is highly explosive. I'd not think a duct to the cabin was a good idea.

Ernie
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 07:48:49 AM by Ernie n Tara »
Ernie 'n Tara

2011 Winn Journey 34y
2012 Jeep Rubicon - Dozer (orange - kinda)
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Frank B

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Re: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2014, 06:24:40 PM »
RL Sharp:

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Just be sure to maintain the remote watering system so that no part of it freezes.

Yeah, I had wondered about that.  I called one of the companies that makes  these things, and they say that they have been extensively tested in below freezing temperatures.  The water in them does freeze, of course, but they are designed not to split.  I would assume that the pump bulb would need to be drained (hey, I only just discovered this, and have not looked into it yet), but that is apparently all they need.

Ernie:

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mixing batteries of different ages can be a bad thing.

Good point.  I'll check that out.  As you state, I may be better leaving the trailer's own batteries on the front, and just putting my 6 underneath, and wiring only them to the inverter, which is the only really heavy draw that they need to feed.

Frank.
Linux:  Free, open, elegant.
06 GMC 3500 Duramax crew/long pulling 2010 Arctic Fox 30U with 1700 lb Reese Titan Class 5.
1.2 kw solar

Frank B

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Re: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2014, 10:22:37 AM »
Gizmo:

Quote
Frank, maybe this link will help with some ideas

Paid site with a Windows-only policy and manual log-in where the account is created via email only.  Operator sounds a bit cranky.  :)

Anyway, I've never had any issues with V-Bulletin regardless of the OS used to run it on (it is hosted on Linux more than on Windows according to some reports), or the OS used to access it.

Anyway, I am jumping through the hoops put before me, so we'll see in a while what sort of depth the site has.  It is the depth that keeps me here.  :)

Frank.
Linux:  Free, open, elegant.
06 GMC 3500 Duramax crew/long pulling 2010 Arctic Fox 30U with 1700 lb Reese Titan Class 5.
1.2 kw solar

Gizmo

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Re: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2014, 11:20:36 AM »
Frank, Yeah I get the hoops.  No question this site is excellent and has depth as you mention.  The Northwoods site I also find worth it, for the brand specific information and experience. 
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
2017 Eagle Cap 1165 Truck Camper With Tork Lift Fast Gun Tie Downs & T.L. Wobble Stoppers
2015 Ram Big Horn 3500 CC Cummins TD Dually 3:73 Gears & AISIN Tranny
Gone But not forgotten:
2014 Northwoods Snow River 246RKS &
2013 Aliner Expedition

Frank B

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Re: Additional batteries in Arctic Fox 30U?
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2014, 03:50:34 PM »
Gizmo:

Quote
The Northwoods site I also find worth it, for the brand specific information and experience. 

Well, I just signed up, so I get 60 days to try it out before I have to pay.  One doesn't pay a lot, so it is not the cost, as such.  Just a rare thing these days.

We'll see how it goes.

Thanks again.

Frank.
Linux:  Free, open, elegant.
06 GMC 3500 Duramax crew/long pulling 2010 Arctic Fox 30U with 1700 lb Reese Titan Class 5.
1.2 kw solar